According to the Secret Service, a man was arrested for trying to pull a police officer’s gun from his holster at a Donald Trump rally on Saturday in Las Vegas. The man, a 19-year-old, who drove to Vegas from California, admitted to officers that he tried to grab the gun so that he could kill Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
As CNN reports, the young man has been identified as Michael Sandford. He reportedly struck up a conversation with a Las Vegas Metro Police officer working the Donald Trump event, telling the officer that he wanted an autograph. While he was talking to the officer in question, Sanford reportedly tried to pull the police officer’s service weapon from its holster. The teenager was unsuccessful in his attempt to disarm the officer, say reports, and the officer, as well as other officers who had been working security at the Donald Trump event, were able to detain the 19-year-old, who is reportedly a native of Britain, and take him into custody without injury.
Reportedly, aside from the young man’s attempt to steal the Las Vegas officer’s holstered gun, there was no other “disruption” to the Saturday Donald Trump event.
Upon questioning, it was discovered that Sanford had driven from his home in California to Las Vegas in order “to kill Trump.” According to the criminal complaint that has now been filed against the attempted Donald Trump assassin, he’d heard only a few days prior that Trump would be in Vegas on Saturday.
After driving to Las Vegas, Sanford practiced firing a gun for the first time on June 17 at a local Las Vegas shooting range.
“Sanford further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again. Sandford claimed he had been planning to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it.”
According to reports, the would-be assassin also told officers that if he had been unable to muster up the courage to attempt to shoot Donald Trump at the Las Vegas event, he had plans to head to go to Donald Trump’s next scheduled campaign stop in Phoenix, Arizona. Sanford said he had planned to try again there to shoot Trump, if necessary.
Michael Sanford is to appear at the U.S. District Court at 6:00 p.m. EST on Monday, according to reports. He will be arraigned by Magistrate Judge George Foley, says a U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman.
As the New York Post reports, the young would-be Donald Trump assassin has been charged with an act of violence on restricted grounds, according to a U.S. District Court complained filed in Nevada on Monday.
In that complaint, a report filed by Special Agent Swierkowski (the agent’s first name was withheld from the official filing documents) outlines the young man’s premeditated plan to drive from his home in California to kill Donald Trump. It is also that report which details Sanford’s admission of spending time at a Las Vegas shooting range to prepare himself to shoot Donald Trump at the Las Vegas campaign event.
It was after he practiced his shooting at the range that Sanford headed to the Donald Trump rally taking place at the Treasure Island Casino. Once he arrived at the Trump event, Michael Sanford directly approached a uniformed Las Vegas police officer and told him he wanted to get Donald Trump’s autograph. During that conversation, he grabbed the handle of the officer’s service weapon and attempted to remove it from the holster so that he could use it to shoot Donald Trump at the event.
So far, there have been no reports of how close Sanford got to his intended target.
There have, thus far, been no reports regarding whether or not the thwarted Donald Trump shooter has retained legal counsel. According to a CNN report, the Secret Service says that Sanford violated at least two federal laws during the incident at the Donald Trump event, and it’s possible he’ll face additional charges as the investigation continues. If he is convicted, the attempted Donald Trump assassin could face over two decades in prison.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]